Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Last week, kids learned that through the prophet Agabus, the Holy Spirit had told Paul that he would be bound if he went back to Jerusalem, and that’s exactly what happened in today’s Bible story. Some Jews in Jerusalem accused Paul of teaching against God. They tried to kill him, but a Roman army commander stopped them and arrested Paul. Paul had been born a Roman citizen, and his status as such protected him from an unjustified beating.
While in prison, the Lord told Paul that he would one day teach about Him in Rome. Rome was one of the most powerful and influential cities of that day. But Paul spent two years in prison before he was sent to Rome to give his defense to Caesar. Along the way, the ship Paul was sailing on wrecked near the island of Malta. But God kept everyone safe, and Paul had a chance to pray for people who lived on the island. He even healed some of them.
Months later, Paul reached Rome. He was still a prisoner, but he was allowed to stay in a house by himself with a guard. He taught everyone who visited him about Jesus and the kingdom of God. Everyone there knew Paul was in prison for teaching about the Messiah. (Phil. 1:12-13)
Paul’s work to spread the good news of Jesus continued in Rome. No punishment or suffering kept Paul from telling others about Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives believers power to share the gospel all over the world so people will know and love Jesus.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story picks up with Paul’s third missionary journey. Paul traveled from place to place, teaching about Jesus and encouraging the believers. Luke, the writer of Acts, records that a major disturbance arose in Ephesus concerning Christians. Ephesus was a large city in Asia Minor. It was a central location for politics, religions, and business.
Some men there made their living by making silver shrines for false gods, like the goddess Artemis. If people started to believe what Paul was saying, they could lose their livelihood! The men started a riot. Paul wanted to speak to the people, but the disciples would not let him. They feared for Paul’s life. After the uproar was over, Paul left for Macedonia.
In Troas, a city in Macedonia, Paul spoke about Jesus late into the night. One young man named Eutychus (YOO tih kuhs) was sitting on a window sill, listening, when he fell asleep. He fell out the window from the third story and died. But Paul—through the power of God—brought him back to life.
Sometime later, Paul decided to go back to Jerusalem. Along the way, a prophet named Agabus came to Paul. He took Paul’s belt and tied his own feet and hands. Then he said that the Jews in Jerusalem would bind Paul’s hands and feet in the same way. Paul’s friends begged him not to go. But Paul was not afraid to be arrested—or even to die—for the name of Jesus, so Paul kept going toward Jerusalem.
Paul told about Jesus even when he was in danger. Paul shared the gospel with people who didn’t know Jesus. He told people to turn from their sins and trust in Jesus, and he encouraged believers in the church to keep loving Jesus. God changed the people’s hearts, and they turned away from their sin. The good news about Jesus is powerful and life-giving.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. I hope you find true accounts of Paul’s missionary journeys encouraging and empowering. In today’s Bible story, Paul and Silas traveled to Thessalonica and began preaching in the synagogue about Jesus. Some became believers, but others wanted to attack them. Paul and Silas escaped and went to Berea. The Jews in Berea studied the Scriptures to make sure Paul was telling the truth. Many of them believed! But when the Jews in Thessalonica heard what was happening in Berea, they hurried there and caused trouble. So Paul and Silas went to Athens.
The city of Athens was a cultural center. People in Athens loved to hear about and study the latest ideas. Paul spoke with the Jews and the philosophers in the city. Athens was also full of idols to every kind of god. There was even an altar to an unknown god.
Paul began preaching, telling the people that they worshiped a god they did not know. But people can know the Lord God! The one true God made the world and everything in it! God was not like their idols. “We ought not to think that God is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man,” Paul said. Paul told the people that God wanted them to turn away from their sins. Then Paul told them about Jesus and how He was raised from the dead. Some people made fun of Paul, but others believed.
From Athens, Paul went to Corinth. He tried to persuade the Jews in the synagogue that Jesus is the Christ, but they would not listen. Paul spoke to the Gentiles, and many of them believed and were baptized. God continued working through Paul.
The men of Athens worshiped many false gods. Paul explained to them God’s plan of salvation. He said that only God should be worshiped. Paul talked about Jesus and the resurrection. People can know God because Jesus took the punishment for sin that separates people from God. Only the Lord—the one true God—deserves our worship.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story focuses on Paul’s second missionary journey that he took to follow up with churches he had planted on his first journey. Paul wanted to see how the new believers were doing. Paul and his companion Silas traveled through Syria and Cilicia, encouraging believers and strengthening churches. The numbers of believers in the churches increased daily.
One night, while Paul and Silas were in Troas, the Lord called Paul to go to Macedonia and preach the gospel to the people. So Paul and Silas obeyed. They sailed to Macedonia, staying in the city of Philippi for several days.
Two major events happened while Paul was in Macedonia. First, a woman named Lydia became a believer. God opened Lydia’s heart to the good news of the gospel. She believed and was baptized. Then she invited Paul and Silas to stay at her house.
Then, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison after Paul commanded a fortune-telling spirit to come out of a slave girl. Late at night, an earthquake rocked the prison, flung open the doors, and shucked off the shackles. The prisoners could have jumped up and escaped, but they stayed where they were. The jailer asked Paul and Silas how to be saved. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,” they said. The man believed and was baptized.
Lydia, the jailer, and many others were saved because they believed in Jesus. Jesus offers us salvation as a gift. He did all the work to save us by dying on the cross. We do not need to earn salvation; we can just receive it by repenting and trusting in Jesus.
This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, our journey takes us along with Paul on his first missionary journey. Paul’s first missionary journey began in Antioch of Syria—the third-largest city in the Roman empire, after Rome and Alexandria. The Holy Spirit was working in the Antioch church. The Spirit led the believers there to send out Paul and Barnabas on a journey to preach. The church obeyed, and Paul and Barnabas went out.
Remember that at one time Paul had devotedly persecuted Christians, but now Paul was a missionary. A missionary is someone who obeys God’s call to go and tell others the good news about Jesus. Paul and Barnabas traveled to several cities and all over the island of Cyprus, telling everyone about Jesus.
In each city, they went first into the synagogues. They told the Jews about Jesus. Some of the Jews believed, but some of them were angry at Paul and Barnabas. They rejected the truth about Jesus. In some places, the Jews made plans to kill Paul! So Paul and Barnabas went to the Gentiles, the non-Jews. This was the purpose to which God had called Paul. (See Acts 9:15.) When the Gentiles heard the gospel, many of them believed. The gospel is not for a select group of people; it is for everyone! If Paul had not taken the gospel to the Gentiles, many of us would probably not be believers today.
Paul obeyed the Holy Spirit’s call to tell the world about Jesus. Many of the Jews rejected Christ, so Paul shared the gospel with the non-Jews. Many of them believed in Jesus. God uses people to tell others about Jesus so that people all over the world can be saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Over the next six weeks, kids will learn about Paul’s life-changing encounter with Jesus. Saul was a devout Jew who was born in Tarsus (Phil. 3:5) and inherited his Roman citizenship from his father. (His Roman name was Paul; his Hebrew name was Saul.) So when people began talking about this man named Jesus and claiming that He was the promised Messiah, Saul took notice.
Saul believed strongly in the Jewish faith of his ancestors. He violently persecuted God’s church and tried to destroy it. (Gal. 1:13-14) He dragged believers from their houses and put them in prison. He approved of the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Saul thought he was doing the right thing by defending Judaism, but God’s purposes could not be stopped.
As Saul was on his way to arrest believers in Damascus, the Lord stopped him in his tracks. Jesus revealed Himself to Saul, and Saul was never the same. Saul was convinced that Jesus is Lord. Saul later described the experience as being like dying and receiving a new life. (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17) God had a purpose and a plan for Saul. He had set Saul apart before Saul was even born. (Gal. 1:15) God said, “This man is My chosen instrument to take My name to the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15).
Salvation, sometimes called conversion, happens when a person recognizes his sin, repents, believes in Jesus, and confesses Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus changes a person’s heart, and as a result, his or her life is changed too. Jesus appeared to Saul and changed him inside and out. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15) Jesus called Saul, who was once an enemy of Christians, to spend the rest of his life telling people the gospel and leading them to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior.
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